The Soweto marathon gains momentum

The Soweto Marathon is one of the most famous races on most runners’ calendar of races. The marathon started in 1991 in Orlando stadium with just 500 runners, and in its 28 year the marathon attracted 40 000 runners from across the globe.

The race has grown from a 5 KM run to include three more categories 10 Km, 21 Km and 42 Km.

The marathon’s effect is felt all over Soweto as the township comes to a standstill for the duration of the race as residents stand on the sidelines cheering on the runners.

Simon Ncobo, 42 form Orlando West said he has been running the marathon for the past six years. Ncobo said the race is now his favourite race as he has upgraded from 10KM run to 42KM run.

“This marathon has turned me into a runner, I have participated in the race for more than six years now, I started with 10KM in 2012 and now I’ve upgraded to 42.2 KM which I enjoyed a lot,” said Ncobo.

South African marathon star, Irvette van Zyl continued her dominance in the marathon when she won the women’s race for the third consecutive year.

The 32-year old mother of two, ran the 42.2km race coming in at 2:34:01, just 58 seconds slower than her record-breaking win of 2:33:43 last year.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Selam Abere Alebachew finished second (2:45:54) in the women’s race yesterday, improving on her third spot finish last year. Her countrywoman Gadise Getachew Bekele finished in third place in 2:48:19.

In the men’s race, Ethiopia took honours as Debeko Dakamo Dasa won in a time of 2:18:35. He was followed by the Kenyan David Maru in a time of 2:18:48, while Ethiopia’s Refera Merga Madesa finished third (2:18.57) and his countryman Muhajr Haredin Sraj was fourth (2:19.04).

Source: Gauteng Province